Amazon Indian organizations have labeled calls by two US
anthropologists to forcibly contact uncontacted tribes as “arrogant” and
Peru’s main Amazon Indian organization AIDESEP, as well several smaller Amazonian indigenous groups, released a statement in response to a recent editorial in Science magazine by US anthropologists Robert Walker and Kim Hill.
The anthropologists claim that uncontacted tribes
are “unviable” and that governments are violating their responsibility
to protect isolated tribes if they “refuse authorized, well-planned
contacts.” Currently, international and Peruvian laws guarantee
uncontacted tribes the right to reject contact with mainstream society.
In an open letter,
the organizations wrote, “The way of life that we as indigenous peoples
choose to live is a decision that we ourselves make, and one which the
State and society has to respect. National and international laws grant
us the right to maintain our cultures and make decisions over our
present and future lives.
“We reject any call or act that seeks to impose a way of life that is
rejected by our brothers in isolation and initial contact.”
There are more than a hundred uncontacted tribes around the world, all face catastrophe unless their land is protected.
In Peru, five reserves have been created to protect the lands and
lives of uncontacted tribes. A further five areas are known to be
inhabited by uncontacted tribes, but the government has been slow to protect them.
Stephen Corry, Director of Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, recently wrote in US journal Truth Out,
“It’s time to stand in resistance against those who just can’t abide
that there are some who choose a different path to ours, who don’t
subscribe to our values, and who don’t make us richer unless we steal